Re: In public...
I don't live in Cali... but I smoke in my area outdoors all the time. As a matter of fact, most of the time... Cops have approached us on rare occasions and we just explain to them what it is and show them the shisha. Once they smell it and see it, they just walk away. Other times, we've had people and cops alike know exactly what a hookah is and they actually compliment ours on how nice it looks. If I was you, I wouldn't worry.
As long as you explain to people/cops what it is and show them what it is, they'll leave you alone. It's not illegal to smoke tobacco in public. Smoking hookah is no different to smoking a cigarette in that aspect. It just looks fancy or similar to something else that we're not allowed to mention here. Either way, as long as you explain it to them and show them what it is, you'll be fine.